If you want to know what missionary work means to me personally, then keep reading!
I am who I am today because of missionary work. If it weren't for 2 missionaries who taught and participated in the conversion of my mom and her siblings, I would not have grown up in this gospel or let alone born into the family that I was and my life would be completely different. Family means the world to me. My parents have taught me so much about hard work and I know that they would do anything to make sure that all of their kids are happy and taken care of. I firmly believe that I am a perfect blend of my two older sisters and my best friends, and my brother Frank has an incredibly infectious personality that everyone can't help but love him for his good heart. I also can't leave out my awesome brother-in-law Robbie and my brand new brother-in-law Reilly who are great additions to our family and make my sisters the happiest they've ever been. So why the spiel about my family? Because I know that I am blessed to be with them forever! Our time on earth is but a second compared to eternity. I take great comfort in knowing where I came from, that I am a daughter of God, and that my purpose on earth is to prepare myself to one day return to him. Being set apart as a missionary and representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints means that I will have the opportunity to teach the Tahitian people about this great gospel and watch how their families are impacted because of it. Just like my mom was blessed to find the gospel when she was 13 which then changed her life forever, I hope to be able to help and find those people that are waiting for me to share the joy and greatness of the true and restored gospel.
Why I chose to serve a mission:
On October 6th, 2012, President Thomas S. Monson (the Prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) announced the lowering of mission ages for both worthy elders and sisters. Elders can now serve beginning at age 18 instead of 19 and Sisters can now serve beginning at age 19 instead of 21.This was a landmark announcement in the LDS church and was a big shock, especially for sisters. The day that this announcement was announced, my roommate and I had slept through our alarms and missed the beginning of conference. As you can imagine though, we were quickly woken after the announcement was made and everyone was freaking out and shocked beyond words. So just barely waking up and hearing this news was really hard to comprehend at first. Jordan (my roommate) and I were just so shocked that we couldn't even really talk about it for awhile because we didn't even know what to say! This affected us now! Instead of the "Oh, I'll figure it out when I'm 21 and I get to that point," it was "You turn 19 in a few months. This is something you need to consider now!" It was insane. Being in the dorms as well with people screaming in the hall and the explosion of statuses on Facebook- it is definitely a day I will never forget. A lot of girls knew right away that they wanted to serve and they turned in their papers as soon as they could. For me, however, I didn't know right away. My mom served in the Sweden Stockholm mission and my dad served in the Buenos Aires South mission, so missions were always a topic in our house and it was always in the back of my mind that I thought that I would really enjoy a mission. So when the announcement was made, I began the process of praying and fasting to try and get an answer. On a day when I was fasting and really wanted to find my answer, I found that a lot of my thoughts and prayers went to a friend who needed help and I wasn't focusing a lot on receiving my answer. I realized that I may not get an answer and decided that I was okay about that. Later that night though, I was able to receive my answer but not in the way that I was expecting it. I received my answer through a few of my good friends and the feeling I got when I knew that I was supposed to go on a mission was indescribable. It was joy, relief, and just pure excitement. I am so grateful for how the Lord works and answers prayers because I know without a doubt that He needs me in Tahiti. I am where I'm supposed to be.
(To read more about my feelings the day I got my call, check out- http://chucklesandsnorts.blogspot.com/2013/03/tahitipapeete.html)